Post # 1
I want to remodel my bathroom (retile, change light fixture, remove cabinet underneath sink to convert sink as a ‘stand alone sink’). Any advice on chosing contractors, insurance, or just general remodeling advice? I’m a newbie (1st time home owner) so need all the advice I can get. Thank you.
Post # 3
Contractors are notorious for not showing up when they say they will do so- so get plenty of recommendations and references. Make sure your contractors are insured or bonded in case they get hurt while in your house. Sounds as though you need demo, plumbing, fixtures and surfaces. I’d go to a big box and map out a generic plan first and then price out who should do the work. Don’t go with the lowest OR the highest. The best folks are usually somewhere in between. If you can pull out the old stuff yourself, that will save some time and money.
Post # 4
I agree with FMILady. Ask friends, family, and co-workers for references since they will have actual work done that you can check out and have a price benchmark. Sometimes, if you buy your own materials, it’s cheaper in the overall budget. It was for me so all they had to do was demo and provide labor.
Post # 5
I would ask around to family and friends, I bet a lot of people around you have done some remodeling to their home. Make sure you get a couple quotes to keep the contractors honest but be sure that you do not automatically go for the one with the lowest price. Have them write up what is included in their price because someone may be cheaper however there will be a lot of extras in the end. Also, in regards to buying your own material it’s not always the best idea. A lot of time contractors have discounts at certain supply houses and you don’t have to worry about delivery. And as the other girls mentioned, just make sure they have insurance. The insurance company can usually fax the contractor a policy statement with the homeowners name on it so you have it for your reference. And whatever you do, sign a contract. Don’t just take someone’s word. You would be in trouble if they came back and wanted more money than you verbally agreed upon.
Post # 6
That’s all great advice. My Fiance is a general contractor specializing in addtions/kitchens/bathrooms. Sounds like a fairly easy project if you aren’t moving any walls or plumbing. My Fiance always presents a written fixed-price contract and he’s also licensed/bonded/insured. He has no problem providing references. Go with someone who is very responsive and professional during the bid process.
Post # 7
Well, let’s see… When we remodeled our bathroom…
We demo-ed out the exisiting tile surround and floor ourselves to save ourselves some money. It made a HUGE mess and was a little labor-intensive but was well worth the cost savings. The contractor we hired came in and hung new cement board for the tub surround and did all of the tile/grout work in 3 days. We used servicemagic.com to find several contracters that we interviewed and got quotes from before we settled on one.
And as far as switching out the sink/cabinet goes — “furniture” pieces are really in right now. Home Depot or lowes always has some in stock, but I think there are some awesome ones at homedecoratorscollection.com . Don’t underestimate the cost of faucet, sink, countertop, backsplash/surround — it adds up quickly!
Post # 8
When you say stand alone sink do you mean a pedestal sink like this?
If so, please think about the need for storage in a bathroom. Even if its a guest bathroom, its always nice to have some wash cloths, extra tp, etc around for guests.
My parents have one of these and it drives them CRAZY! I get that they look nice but as others have mentioned, the “furniture” looking vanities are very in style right now.
Post # 9
See if you can do any of this yourself. Look up videos. Sometimes it’s not as hard as it looks! And you can save a few grand in the process =]
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I agree with not doing a pedastal sink if this is a bathroom you use frequently. There are much sleeker cabinets available these days. You’ll miss the storage!
Post # 11
something like this is sleek & still has storage — plus because it’s already assembled it’s very DIY
Post # 12
Don’t let your Mother-In-Law do it while you’re on your honeymoon. Trust me on this one.
Seriously though, you can probably do more than you think you can on your own, but it comes down to how long it will take and how much you want to spend. A dear friend of mine just renovated her entire bathroom without any outside contractors, it took her and her husband nearly 3 months of working nights/weekends on it. They did a major remodel for a great price though.
Post # 13
@ Caszos…yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Pedestal sink. I want that coz I’m such a germaphobe. I hate thinking what microbes could be growning inside the cabinet under the sink. I like to see “everything out” where I can easily clean it and it is reached by light. I know. It’s weird but I don’t like thinking there’s dark/damp places in my house that can grow molds. To make up for the storage, I plan on having one of those stand up floor shelves that go over the toilet. (My bathroom is 5×7 small so I like thing “going upwards” versus taking space horizontally.) Does that make sense?
To the rest of the bees, thank you very much for your feedback. I am dreading being on a weird routine the week they do the renovations but I keep telling myself it will be for my peace of mind & the condo’s resale value….and to get my condo ready for married life when my future husband moves in. THANK YOU VERY MUCH AGAIN!
Post # 14
I would say another thing, to protect yourself when hiring a contractor, is to make sure the contract you sign with him explains the payment process and details the work involved and responsibilities of the contractor and yourself. If he completes 10% of the work, he gets paid 10% (and this can be verified by an outside source). If he finishes 50% he gets 50%, but I recommend, until the job is complete, inspections are final and everything is in good working condition, to withhold 10% (or some other number that’s been written and agreed to previously in the contract) to ensure he completes the job and makes sure all things are completed and clean. Even with small jobs like this, I think when people get screwed by contractors, it’s mostly because they hired a shady person and gave him all their money before they completed (or started) the work.
Post # 15
BIG THANK YOU, LADIES! Finally signed the contract (took notes of all your advice and I made sure these things were laid out in the contract along w/ payments, what materials, cost, etc.). Remodeling starts 1st wk of June. Yikes! I’m kinda scared but excited to finally have a super clean/nice bathroom. This is a milestone in my adult life: 1st remodeling of my first condo. Sigh…I’m growing up. LOL. =)